Documenting history as well as my experiences with repairing and restoring vintage guitars.

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John Brandt Mandolin Label Image Credit:  Revere Auctions About John Brandt was born August 1851 in Germany, he married Agnes Brandt in 1885...

John Brandt - Chicago, Illinois

Jno. Brandt Maker Chicago Ill Pat. Oct. 1899 Brandt Warranted  WM. Lewis Sole Agent Chicago Ill
John Brandt Mandolin Label
Image Credit: Revere Auctions


John Brandt was born August 1851 in Germany, he married Agnes Brandt in 1885 and immigrated to the United States in 1886 [3]. Agnes was listed as 'widowed' in the 1910 census indicating John's death sometime prior.

John Brandt's instruments two main dealers around 1899 were Grinnell Brothers in Michigan and W.M. Lewis in Chicago[1][2].



Filed on April 10th, 1899, John Brandt patented a bracing system for a sturdier mandolin. His mandolin invention was the use of spring steel (E) strips underneath a spruce plate (F) . He also included another spring steel bar (D) which was glued into the sides of the mandolin to prevent the body from spreading apart and breaking.
Image Source: Google Patents


Patented March 7nd, 1902, John Brandt's unique mandolin headpiece included inlaid tuners of his own design and a narrow headstock to allow for easier playing of chords. His patent illustrates a Gibson-shaped headstock but many of his extant instruments have a violin scroll.
Image Credit: Wonkenstein -


Filed on February 20th, 1905 and granted on September 5th, 1905 by John Brandt on behalf of Lyon and Healy.

The instrument was given the body shape of a violin but meant to be strung in doubles similar to a mandolin. It has a cutaway for easier access of the left hand to the higher frets. The top is not arched in the carved or pressed styles but would be comprised of multiple pieces of wood glued along their width in an arch. 

Google Patents



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